Updated: Apr 16
5 Keys to Successful Coaching
Coaching focuses on helping individuals learn through a process of exploration that is based on asking rather than advising or directing. It is a strength-based, positive and future focused process. Coaching is different from most therapy and consulting programs, and often coaches fail to fully embrace this powerful model.
Here are 5 Keys to becoming a Top Tier Coach:
1. Become an Exceptional Listener & Build the Relationship
2. Reflect … Question
3. Master Feedback
4. Patience and Flexibility
5. Always Be a Learner
1. Become an Exceptional Listener & Build Relationships:
Be a curious and totally attentive listener. Tune into what your client is communicating to you and tune out to your own agendas, solutions and especially advice. You must be totally present and in the moment with your client. Think of it as renting clients a space where they can comfortably open up to you.
This is crucial to creating a “safe space” for your clients. When you have developed your client’s trust they will be ready to be open and vulnerable when communicating to you their thoughts, fears, needs, desires etc. This is so necessary for you to be able to uncover the important information you need to help them bring about relevant change into their lives. As the attentive, active listener you have taken a major step towards building trust. In addition always be clear and consistent in all your communications from setting expectations and objectives to your follow through on your agreements.
2. Reflect … Question …:
a. Reflecting back what the client has said to you with accuracy shows the client that you have really heard what they said, yet another plank in your efforts to build relationship. In addition it helps clarify for the client that what they said is exactly what they meant to say. This offers the opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings that might arise from misinterpretation (on the coaches part), or miscommunication (on the client’s part).
b. Questions allow for further exploration of issues. The use of open-ended questions is empowering. It allows the client to think and go within to discover the answers they may already have but are just not in touch with. This process can be empowering, affirming and builds confidence. Open-ended questions can also be used to challenge assumptions and limiting beliefs that might be holding clients back form achieving their desired goals.
3. Master Feedback:
The successful coach gives clear, honest, straight-forward feedback, being careful not to be negative, judgmental or dismissive. Negative feedback can cause the client to become defensive and shut down. Successful coaches are able to challenge the client’s errors in thinking, and false assumptions through reflective listening and open-ended questions to bring forward options and alternative solutions to their client’s attention. .
4. Be Patience and Flexible and Affirming:
Coaching is not about “them”. It is about the individual that is sitting across from you. It is not a one size fits all, cookie cutter program. While you may have a basic structure and style to your coaching, you must be able to determine how to implement this in a way that is going to work best for each client. Some clients require more hands on approach each step of the way, while others may prefer to have more freedom to go off and work on their own for a while. Some clients are linear thinkers and others not at all. You must work with clients in a way that honors their individual styles. And regardless of how the process works the coach is always supporting and affirming the client’s positive efforts and achievements along the way. Positive support and appreciation is also another layer in building your trust and rapport in the client coach relationship.
5. Always Learning:
Successful coaches are always working towards enhancing and expanding their skills. Coaches learn from other coaches through mentor coaching or mastermind groups. As with most professionals wanting to achieve peak performance they seek the help of a coach. Coaches can do the same. There are also numerous training courses offered worldwide online or face to face, not to mention a vast library of literature on coaching skills from blogs, e-books. For more information check:
“It always seems impossible until it's done”. Nelson Mandela
From: Joan Wise. “5 KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL COACHING.” iBooks.